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27.06.2022

Bengal cat colours and patterns

Bengals' stunning looks and unique coat patterns and colours make them incredibly desirable. According to the Cat Fanciers Association, there are around 40 colours and patterns of this breed, so it might be challenging to pick the one you like best.

Untamed presents different Bengal cat variants, from common to rare ones. We will also discuss the best diet for your kitty's beautiful coat and stable health.

All Bengal cat colours—what fits the standard

There is no cat breed remotely similar to these miniature leopards. They are easily recognisable thanks to their distinctive markings, yet there are so many different variants.

Cat parents interested in taking their feline companions to competitions should know that there are two categories of Bengal cat colours:

  1. Recognised
  2. Unrecognised

Recognised Bengal cat colours

Only three Bengal cat fur colours are recognised in cat competitions. They are:

  1. Brown
  2. Snow
  3. Silver

Brown Bengal cat

There are no official subcategories of brown Bengal cats, but this coat tint has several variations. The shades range from cool greyish colours to warm orange tones. As long as a feline has a black tail tip, it can be anywhere on that brown spectrum.

Brown Bengals are the most popular and the most common.

Source: Paul Hanaoka

Brown Bengal cats typically have green or golden eyes, and the shades vary significantly.

Breeders use many terms to distinguish between different variants of brown. The table below presents the most common ones:

The shade of brown

Description

Brown

A yellowish-brown shade, deeper than tawny but not as red as orange

Grey brown

The coolest shade of brown or grey-brown with black markings

Sandy brown

A cool-toned shade but not grey

Tawny brown

A middle-brown shade of a yellowish tone

Sorrel

A reddish or orange-toned brown shade

Cinnamon

An orange-cream colour with dark orange markings and tail tip

Chocolate

A rich chocolate brown shade with caramel hues

Snow Bengal cat

Snow Bengals' coat colour can range from creamy white to ivory. These felines are gorgeous, rare, and often compared to snow leopards. They take second place in the popularity contest, with the brown Bengal reigning on top. Since snow Bengals are more difficult to find, they are in high demand.

There are three distinctive snow shades. You can find them in the table below:

Snow shades

Description

Snow seal lynx

The lightest shade of white cream colour beautifully contrasting with these feline’s blue eyes (courtesy of their Siamese ancestry)

Snow seal mink

A slightly darker shade than seal lynx, often described as creamy tan or ivory. Seal mink Bengals often have bluish-green, aquamarine, or gold eyes

Snow seal sepia

A warm cream shade that can range from pale to dark. These felines typically have green or gold eyes

Silver Bengal cat

The colour of a silver Bengal's coat is decidedly cool-toned and can range from white to darker steel grey. They have black markings that look beautiful against the lighter fur. There should be no warm colours or markings that include yellow or orange tones. If they do appear, it is considered undesirable for the Bengal standard.

I’m pretty and I know it!

Source: Dan Smedley

These felines usually have green or gold eyes that wonderfully contrast their fur, and they are also pretty difficult to come across.

Unrecognised Bengal cat colours

Cat parents who have no intention of entering their feline companions in competitions have a few unrecognised shades to choose from. It's worth noting that TICA (The International Cat Association) accepts all these colours as a Bengal standard.

The unrecognised Bengal colours include:

  1. Charcoal
  2. Blue
  3. Melanistic

Charcoal Bengal cat

Charcoal Bengals are darker than the traditional ones. The smoky charcoal patterns can appear on any base coat colour—brown, silver, snow, or blue.

These felines have dark, greyish-brown or carbon base colour, with little or no reddish hues and dark-spotted or marbled markings. They might also have a dark mask around their eyes, and that pattern sometimes extends down the feline's back, resembling a cape. This type of marking is often referred to as the Zorro cape and mask.

Blue Bengal cat

Blue Bengals are extremely rare. For such a specimen to be born, both the queen and the sire must carry the recessive gene responsible for this unique fur colour.

These kitties have a blue coat that can range from dark steel shade to light powder blue, sometimes with some cream or peachy tones. Unlike most other Bengals with black patterns, these felines have dark blue or metal grey coloured markings. This variant usually has gold, green, or hazel eyes.

Melanistic Bengal cat

When you first see a melanistic Bengal, they might look like a regular black cat. On closer inspection, you will notice that they have distinctive Bengal markings, similar to black panthers. These markings are barely noticeable, so they are often called "ghost markings" or "ghost spots.”

These felines have green, gold, or hazel eyes, which look mesmerising against their dark coat.

Bengal cat patterns

What makes a Bengal distinguishable from any other breed is their marking. Although there are many pattern variations, the following are the most prominent:

  1. Spotted
  2. Marbled

A Bengal of any colour can have one of these two basic patterns in various shades. Some Bengals even have a combination, and such markings are often referred to as sparbled.

Spotted Bengal cat

Cat parents love spotted Bengals because of their wild cat appearance.

Source: Claudio Schwarz

Spotted marking or rosettes are exclusive to Bengals, making them a particularly desirable breed. These patterns can come in various shapes, and the most common ones include:

  • Paw-print—These markings look like small paw prints scattered across a Bengal's back. The rosettes have dark spots along one side of the second fur colour
  • Arrowhead—Arrowheads can be monochrome or outlined. They are triangular and resemble the tip of an arrow or a drop. The tips point to the back of the cat and vary in size and density. They are spectacular but incredibly rare
  • Doughnut—This pattern features darker spots than the base colour, outlined in an even darker shade. Pancake rosettes are the subvariant with thinner outline rings
  • Clouded—These are large, full rosettes with little spacing between them, looking like a snakeskin pattern
  • Cluster—Clusters contain small spots around the centre colour
  • Single-spotted—The pattern is defined by small monochrome spots on contrasting fur colours. There is no gradient in the pattern colour, and the spots are usually brown, black, or dark grey
  • Chain rosetting—It’s a horizontal, connected row of doughnut rosettes, running parallel on each side of the spine

Marbled Bengal cat

Marbled patterns are rare, but they are gorgeous.

Source: Petrebels

The marbled pattern is less common than spotted and is characterised by symmetrical swirls and stripes interflowing in a random pattern. These markings are typically divided into four categories:

  1. Horizontal flowing—The markings flow horizontally along a feline's spine
  2. Reduced horizontal flow—This marking is similar to the one of a wild cat and has a high background to markings ratio
  3. Sheeted flow—It includes numerous markings with little space between them
  4. Chaos pattern—This pattern is characterised by chaotic swirls and flows, with sporadic splashes of colours and different patterns

Additional Bengal cat features

Besides the beautiful patterns and fantastic colour combinations, there are a few more interesting features of Bengal cats.

You will recognise Bengals by their white-spotted bellies and a coat that glitters in the sun.

Source: Daria Shatova

Check them out in the table below:

Feature

Description

Glitter

Some Bengals have shiny, almost glittery fur. It is brought upon by random translucent hair shafts, which catch and reflect light

White underbelly

Bengals with white tummies are rare and highly valued. This is the quality of the Asian Leopard cat that breeders have been trying to get

Tummy spots

These felines always have spotting on their bellies

Striped tail

Bengals have striped tails that end in a dark point. They also have stripes on their legs and chest

Primordial pouch

Located on a feline’s belly, the primordial pouch is present in both males and females. It is a flap of loose skin between the hind legs. Many people confuse this with the cat being overweight

Pelt-like coat

Because of their pelt-like coat, Bengals are unlikely to shed. This makes them a bit more suitable for humans allergic to cats

How to keep your Bengal cat's fur healthy and shiny

Regardless of the colour and pattern, you can ensure your Bengal's coat is always soft and healthy with:

  1. Regular grooming—You should brush your kitty once a week and bathe them approximately once a month. Since Bengals love water, they'll probably enjoy this ritual more than other cats
  2. High-quality dietWell-portioned, high-protein food ensures your feline gets all the nutrients they need to improve and maintain coat quality, prevent allergies, reduce shedding, and boost overall health

The best food for your Bengal's coat

The best feline diet resembles their natural feeding habits. In the wild, cats hunt small animals like:

Keep your Bengal’s coat sleek by feeding them high-protein food.

Image (c) Untamed

Vegan or vegetarian meal plans won't keep your Bengal happy or healthy. Your feline's diet should consist of animal protein and animal fat. The primary ingredient in cat food should be lean meat or fish, such as:

You should avoid plant-based proteins derived from grains (rice, wheat, soya, sweetcorn) and vegetables (peas, carrots, broccoli). Small quantities of bananas, mangos, or green beans are fine if your furry companion is constipated, but such ingredients should not be a part of their regular diet

They are not toxic for felines, and your Bengal won't get food poisoning, but they can cause allergic reactions and indigestion. As obligate carnivores, cats can't break down and absorb the necessary nutrients from plants.

Whichever type of cat food you choose—wet, dry, semi-moist, raw, B.A.R.F., or homemade—you should make sure it has a good nutrient ratio.

The table below shows the recommended values:

Nutrient

Recommended percentage

Animal protein

More than 50%

Animal fat

Below 20%

Carbs

Less than 3%

How can Untamed help your Bengal?

We know that a well-balanced diet can do wonders for every kitty’s looks and health, so we make sure your Bengal gets the best of the best!

How do you think my coat got his luscious?

Image (c) Untamed

Here is what Untamed offers:

  • High-protein food—All our products have double the amount of protein than most commercial products
  • Allergen-free meals—We refrain from using common allergens, so even felines with gastrointestinal issues can enjoy our delicacies
  • Vet-formulated recipes—Untamed recipes are created by veterinarians to provide balanced nutrition for your Bengal kitten, full-grown mini leopard, pregnant queen, neutered male, or senior cat with dental issues
  • Human-grade ingredients—We only use top-quality whole meat and fish and steer clear of animal derivatives and vegetable fillers
  • Gently steamed meals—The cooking method we use ensures all our dishes keep the necessary nutrients and amazing taste. Even if your Bengal is on the fussy side and doesn't like wet food, they won't resist Untamed jelly and gravy dishes
  • Ethically produced cat food—Untamed only cooperates with sustainable and cruelty-free suppliers, our packaging is 100% recyclable, and our production and shipping processes are carbon-neutral

Take our online quiz today, and we'll help you create a tailor-made meal plan for your furry friend.

How to get Untamed

Ordering food for your Bengal can't be simpler. All you need to do is:

  1. Visit our Try Now page and tell us about your kitty
  2. Choose the best products for your Bengal
  3. Place the order

A trial pack will arrive in a day with no additional shipping fees. Once your Bengal nods in approval, we will keep you stocked up with monthly supplies of healthy cat food.

Check out what our happy customers have noticed once they switched their furry friends to Untamed:

  1. After a week—You will notice fewer digestion problems and no odd mood swings and food cravings
  2. After two months—Your Bengal's body will become leaner and more muscular. Their fur will be sleek and shiny, and there will be no skin irritations
  3. Within four months—You will notice your kitty sheds less and experiences fewer hairballs
  4. Life-long—You won't have trouble keeping your Bengal at a healthy weight, and their immune response will be efficient